Archive for November, 2013

Civic Achievement Award

The Congressman Clement Zablocki Civic Achievement Award
Awarded annually by the
Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division

Annually the Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division awards the prestigious Congressman Clement J. Zablocki “Civic Achievement Award” to deserving individuals and organizations. These awards are presented at the Polish Independence Day/Veterans Day event.

Congressman Clement J Zablocki

Congressman Clement J. Zablocki

Congressman Clement J. Zablocki served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Milwaukee’s Fifth Congressional District for 35 years. During his long tenure in office, he diligently and effectively responded to his constituents’ needs and concerns. In Washington, Congressman Zablocki was devoted to working on behalf of his country’s national security and defense. He was deeply committed to the freedom of Poland and the well-being of its people. Congressman Zablocki worked closely with the Polish American Congress in all of these areas.


2013 Recipients

Waldemar and Susan Biniecki, community activists

“Waldek” Biniecki served as president of the Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division from 2010 to 2012 before relocating to Kansas with his wife, Susan, and their son. As a PAC member and officer, Waldek made many valued contributions to advance the PAC mission in Wisconsin. Currently, Waldek is organizing a PAC state division in Kansas. Susan Biniecki worked at U.W.-Milwaukee for more than a decade and organized a number of excellent educational programs about Poland and its place in European affairs before her faculty appointment at Kansas State University.

Jeanette Holmquist, fraternalist

Jeanette is a long-time leader and officer in our Polish American fraternal insurance organizations. First, with the Federation Life Insurance of America where she served as President and then after its merger with the Polish Roman Catholic Union, another great fraternal organization. Jeanette has continued her strong leadership currently serving as the financial secretary of PRCUA Lodge 2308 (Young Milwaukeeans). Jeanette frequently shares her energies volunteering for various organizational activities. Jeanette is a stalwart activist and officer in the Casimir Pulaski Council of Milwaukee County and currently serves as a Director for the Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division.

Claude Krawczyk and Members of the Kosciuszko Monument Restoration Committee

Atty. Claude Krawczyk has played a key role with his dedicated committee to raise funds necessary to restore the great monument to General Thaddeus Kosciuszko in Milwaukee’s Kosciuszko Park. This magnificent monument, which was erected in 1905 by our Polish community, was in very poor condition and required massive repairs. Atty. Krawczyk and his committee worked for over three years on this project which will benefit the people of Wisconsin for generations to come.

Members of the Restoration Committee are: Judy Ramazzini (Vice Chair), Susan Mikos (Secretary/Treasurer), Cindy Arbiture, Diane Buck, Dan Diliberti, Clare Ann Gaouette, Russ Jankowski, Tamara Johnston, Donald Pienkos, Susan Plewa, and Kathy Wieczorek.

Scott Potopa, presenter of Polish culture

Scott, who lives in the Green Bay area, is not only a collector of memorabilia that highlights Poland’s great historical heritage, he is always ready to showcase these materials at school events and festivals. For example, Scott brought the armor and weapons of the famed Polish winged horsemen (heavy armored cavalry) of the 16th and 17th centuries to our Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division’s display at Polish Fest in 2012. Scott’s display received many fine comments from those guests visiting our cultural exhibit. Scott’s work is included in the book entitled: Polish Re-Enactors Handbook: A Guide To 17th Century Living History In The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by Eryk Stefan Jadaszewski.

Ron and Patricia Witkowiak, community leaders

Ron is a long-time Polonia activist in the Milwaukee Society of the PNA (Lodge 2159), the Polish Heritage Alliance of Wisconsin, and is a Director for the Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division. In addition to serving as an outstanding officer in the Milwaukee County Court system, Ron has made many valuable contacts with public officials that benefitted the Polish community in metro Milwaukee. Pat is very active in various Polonia organizations and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Polish Heritage Alliance. Ron and Pat have been an instrumental team working to advance Polish pride in our area.

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Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 Newsletter No Comments

PAC-WI Special Recognition


The Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division salutes three outstandingorganizations on the anniversaries of their founding. We congratulate these organizations for their many contributions to our Polish American community, in Wisconsin and nationally.


140 Years of Service

This year marks the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, in 1873, as the very first fraternal society created to serve the needs of the Polish people in America. Through the years the PRCUA has been very active and visible in Wisconsin.

115 Years of Service

The year 2013 also marks the 115th anniversary of the birth of the
Polish Women’s Alliance of America, the first national fraternal
society of Polish women in the U.S.A. The PWA, like the
PRCUA, has long been an important force in our state.

60 Years of Service

In 1953, the Polish Women’s Cultural Club of Milwaukee, POLANKI, one of this
country’s leading organizations devoted to the promotion of knowledge of
our cultural heritage in America, was established by four farsighted
individuals: Harriet Gostomska, Felicia Kwasieborska,
Maria Laskowska, and Angela Dubiel Mischke.
(Due to a scheduling conflict, POLANKI will be honored at
the 2014 PAC-WI Polish Independence Day/Veterans Day event.)

Congratulations to all and our very best wishes to your members!

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Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 Newsletter No Comments

Medal of Paderewski

Awarded by the Polish Army Veterans Association of America
and is given to individuals whose actions have
demonstrated their extraordinary commitment
and service to Poland and Polonia.

Awarded to:

Katarzyna Murawska – a native of Poland, believes that a nation’s language is its history. She has collected materials of distinguished Polish-American activists, especially those from Milwaukee. Researching many generations of soldiers and veterans of Polish descent – reaching back to the times of Washington and Lincoln – Murawska has found these individuals’ hearts remain Polish. Her educational background is that of a philologist and teacher. She has authored books about immigrants who through their great work ethic earned the appreciation of the American community. Murawski’s hope is that through her work as a teacher of the Polish language, she will contribute to her students the desire to grow to be activists in Polonia and continue the work of Paderewski and other great Poles.

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Pro Patria Medal

Established in 2011, the Pro Patria Medal is a civil state decoration awarded by the Head of the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression based upon an application and documentation from veteran and victim of oppression groups. Recommendations may also be made by departments of the Polish Government or Polish diplomatic missions and military attaches. The medal is awarded to mark special merit in strengthening and treasuring the memory of the Polish people’s fight for the independence of the Polish Republic during and following World War II.


Awarded to the following individuals:

TADEUSZ CISEK was born in 1922 in the former territory of the eastern provinces of the Second Polish Republic, Stanislawowski Voivodeship. In 1940, Mr. Cisek was deported to northern Kazakhstan and imprisoned in Soviet prison camps. Through the power of the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement, Cisek was freed to join the newly formed Polish Army in Lugowoj, Russia. Mr. Cisek joined the Polish Air Force being assembled in England as a member of the parachute squadron. Mr. Cisek saw action near Arnhem, Holland. After World War II, Mr. Cisek served in the army in the occupied zone of Germany. After demobilization, Mr. Cisek began his study of various technical courses and in 1951 immigrated to the United States and settled in Wisconsin. Mr. Cisek joined and actively participated in several Polish organizations, including Commander of the 94th Station of SWAP and CPA. Mr. Cisek received many military and civilian honors for his courageous service in the military, as well as his outstanding civic contributions.

LEONARD JEDRZEJCZAK was born in 1923 in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Mr. Jedrzejczak was a boy scout and a participant in the Invasion of Poland September Campaign. Captured, Mr. Jedrzejczak was interned in a Hungarian prison camp. Eventually escaping, Mr. Jedrzejczak fled Hungary and joined the Polish Army in the Middle East. He served in the Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade, 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division and General Wladyslaw Anders’ 2nd Polish Corps. Mr. Jedrzejczak participated in the battles at Tobruk, Monte Cassino and Bologna. Following demobilization, Mr. Jedrzejczak finished his technical studies in London, and after immigrating to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, worked as an engineer and metallurgist. As a volunteer, Mr. Jedrzejczak has devoted many years of service to the Polonia Sports Club, co-created various radio broadcasting programs, and founded Polish Scouting in Wisconsin. Mr. Jedrzejczak has received many military and civilian honors including the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Rebirth of Poland.

STANISLAW ORZECHOWSKI was born in 1917. When World War II began, Mr. Orzechowski was serving in the Polish Navy stationed in Gdynia. Participating in the Invasion of Poland September Campaign, Mr. Orzechowski was captured and imprisoned by the Soviets, suffering severe and harsh living conditions. Deported to Siberia, Mr. Orzechowski worked in a mine in Vorkuta. Obtaining amnesty by the power of the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement, he immediately joined the Polish Army. Along with several hundred Polish Marines and Air Force pilots, he was transported to England where he spent the remainder of the war working as radiotelegraph operator, as well as supplying equipment to the Allied Army. In 1946, Orzechowski immigrated to America and dedicated his life working for his new homeland. Mr. Orzechowski has been the recipient of many military and civilian honors and distinctions.

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Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 Newsletter No Comments